Thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco products and vapes seized from local shops

Big bags of confiscated tobacco and vapes.
Tuesday 7 May 2024

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has seized thousands of pounds worth of illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vapes from two shops in Plumstead.

On 26 April 2024, the Council and police had a search warrant for a shop in Plumstead. Officers made a purchase and confirmed that the products were illegal.

While officers were on the scene, a man was spotted throwing products to a neighbouring window and exiting the building. The products the man was trying to discard were confirmed as illegal cigarettes and vapes which were seized.

Police and Council officers seized several bags which contained illegal tobacco and cigarettes in the neighbouring flat with an estimated black market resale value of £15,000.

Another seizure took place on 28 April 2024 in a separate Plumstead location whereover 1,500 packets of illegal cigarettes and a large quantity of illegal vapes were recovered, with a black market value of £16,000.

The business owners will be taken to court for possession and intent to distribute illegal products.

A Council spokesperson said: “Selling illegal tobacco products and vapes could have a detrimental effect on our resident’s health, not to mention damaging the reputation of other local businesses. If you suspect the sale of illegal goods, it’s important to report it to the London Trading Standards so we can work to get these removed from our streets.

We will continue to carry out these seizures along with the police to improve the quality of life and health of our residents and to ensure that everyone in Greenwich is safer and feels safer.”

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death in the UK. The sale of illegal vapes, and tobacco only increases the harm to our health. If you need support in quitting smoking, contact Live Well at

Anyone who suspects the sale of illegal or counterfeit tobacco products or vapes can report it anonymously online to London Trading Standards or to the National Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133.